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Analysts back Asos as profits soar

Online fashion retailer Asos.com is on target to more than double its profits in the next two years, analysts said this week.

Richard Ratner, analyst at Asos's house broker Seymour Pierce, said pre-tax profits were forecast to be in line with expectations at £3.3 million, against sales of £37.5m for the year to March. The retailer posts its full-year results next week.

"Next year we're looking for £4.45m, but we've run the numbers for 2009 and we believe we're looking at £7.2m," said Ratner. "Given the strength of young fashion over the past few months, Asos is trading well."

For the second half, Teather and Greenwood analyst Rhys Williams said he was looking for a year-on-year sales increase of 62%, and predicted pre-tax profit for the year would rise from £3.1m to £4.1m. He said this figure factored in strong sales against weak comparables due to last year's Buncefield fuel depot explosion, which damaged Asos's Hertfordshire warehouse.

"This fantastic weather is a positive force for young fashion retailers, both online and on the high street," he said. "We believe sales at Asos could beat our expectations."

- Asos has signed TV show Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field to design a limited edition collection.

Called Patricia Field for Asos.com, the clothing and accessories range will be designed in collaboration with Asos's in-house design team and will debut in August. Retail prices will be between £35 and £55.

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